Pharmaceutical brand managers also can embed interactive symptom selectors within an online advertising unit to engage consumers
and better educate them on potential conditions and treatments. Symptom selectors allow individuals who think they may be
potential candidates for a specific treatment or medication to select from a list—again, within the ad unit—of symptoms they
After data entry is complete, the ad unit provides an assessment based on selected symptoms, and detailed information on potential
treatment options. The ad also captures opt-in information, and e-mails the user a copy of his or her assessment to print
out and share with a doctor.
Although rich-media ads are typically used to enrich the customer experience and provide an increased level of health-related
information, they also provide pharmaceutical brand managers with an innovative tool for increasing brand interaction and
acquiring customer data. By including interactive components and data-collection tools in an online advertising campaign,
marketers can gather valuable customer information and stimulate brand awareness among their target audiences.
For example, a rich-media ad unit for a new pharmaceutical brand could feature several video segments of potential candidates
for a new television commercial. Online users could view each of the proposed commercials—directly from within the ad unit,
without having to leave their current online destination—and vote on the commercial they like best.
At the end of this campaign, pharmaceutical brand managers have not only gained a clearer indication of which commercials
resonate with their target audiences, but also created an increased level of brand awareness and interaction among the desired
Data-collection tools, such as registration data, contact details, and information requests, provide pharma brand managers
with another means to generate leads. Data-collection fields are defined as standard HTML forms, so they are as easy to design
as the data-collection fields on any standard Web site. Online users fill out the form elements within a panel on the online
ad and submit the information to a server-hosted submission script to process the data.
As a result, pharmaceutical brand teams receive valuable customer data and actionable leads, while consumers receive greater
information in the form of hard copy brochures/education kits, or discounts on products.
Just What the Doctor Ordered
As pharmaceutical brands shift to an online state of mind, they need to engage users in ways that foster longer brand-interaction
times and deliver content-rich experiences. Rich-media advertising addresses these needs and allows brands to extend the reach
of their campaigns both online and off.
Ultimately, the end goal in all pharmaceutical-related advertising is to educate the consumer and positively improve compliance
and adherence. Rich-media ads allow for a non-intrusive, fully interactive brand experience that ultimately leads to a more
informed doctor–patient dialogue and empowers consumers to take a more active and educated role in their healthcare.
Chris Saridakis is CEO of PointRoll. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org